On Tuesday, a US federal agency announced a significant revamp of its annual lottery for the H-1B visa, stating that the application submission process for the fiscal year 2025 would commence on Wednesday, March 6.

The USCIS announced that the opening registration period for the fiscal 2025 H-1B cap will commence at noon Eastern Time on March 6th and will extend until March 22nd.

On March 6, the submission process for H-1B visa applications for the fiscal year 2025 will commence. This follows an announcement made by a US federal agency in January, detailing significant revisions to the annual lottery system for this specialized occupation visa, according to reports by PTI.

The USCIS has announced that the opening period for initial registration for the fiscal 2025 H-1B cap will commence at noon Eastern Standard Time (EST) on March 6th, continuing until March 22nd. Throughout this timeframe, prospective petitioners and their representatives are required to utilize a USCIS online account to electronically register each beneficiary for the selection process and submit the applicable registration fee.

The H-1B visa serves as a non-immigrant option enabling US companies to engage foreign workers possessing specialized expertise in fields requiring theoretical or technical knowledge. This visa is instrumental for technology firms, facilitating the recruitment of tens of thousands of professionals annually from nations such as India and China.

“We continuously seek methods to enhance integrity, reduce the risk of fraud, and enhance the efficiency of our application procedures,” stated USCIS Director Ur M Jaddou, as reported by PTI.

The updated system introduces a beneficiary-focused approach to registration by employers. Unlike previous methods where individuals could submit multiple applications, leading to abuse and fraud, H-1B visa applications will now be assessed and accepted based on individual applicants.

Jaddou mentioned that enhancements in these domains aim to ensure fairer H-1B selections for both applicants and beneficiaries. Moreover, these improvements will facilitate a seamless electronic H-1B process from registration, where applicable, to the final decision, and the transmission of approved petitions to the Department of State.

The ultimate regulation includes measures aimed at prioritizing beneficiaries, establishing flexibility in start dates for specific petitions under the mandated H-1B cap, and implementing additional integrity measures concerning the registration process.

In the beneficiary-centric process, selections will be made based on individual beneficiaries rather than registrations, aiming to minimize fraud and guarantee equal opportunity for each beneficiary. This ensures that regardless of how many registrations are submitted by an employer on behalf of a beneficiary, each one has an equal chance of being chosen.

Sharvari Dalal-Dheini, the Director of Government Relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), stated that the new procedure “aims to create a beneficiary-centric lottery system to promote fairness and equity.”

Dalal-Dheini praised the DHS for its efforts in transitioning from a flawed model to one that promises a fairer system in time for this year’s registration period.

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